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INTERNATIONAL

Sikkim, India’s 100% organic state, winner of Future Policy Award 2018
Friday, 02 November, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Rome
Sikkim, the 100 per cent organic state in India, has bagged the Gold Prize at the Future Policy Awards 2018, which are presented to the world’s best laws and policies promoting agroecology.

While the north-eastern state beat 51 other nominated policies from 25 nations to win what is regarded the Oscar for best policies, the Silver Awards were won by policies from Brazil, Denmark and Quito, Ecuador.

This year’s award is co-organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International, with the support of Green Cross International, DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade and Sekem Group, Egypt.

Sikkim is the first organic state in the world. All of its farmland is certified organic. At the same time, its approach reaches beyond organic production and has proven truly transformational for the state and its citizens.

Embedded in its design are socio-economic aspects such as consumption and market expansion and cultural aspects as well as health, education, rural development and sustainable tourism.

The policy implemented a phase out of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and achieved a total ban on sale and use of chemical pesticides in the state.

The transition has benefited over 66,000 farming families. The Sikkim tourism sector has benefited greatly from the state’s transition to 100 per cent organic: the number of tourists increased by over 50 per cent between 2014 and 2017.

As such, Sikkim sets an excellent example of how other Indian states and countries worldwide can successfully upscale agroecology.

The three Silver Awards were granted to:
  • Brazil’s National Policy for Agroecology and Organic Production (PNAPO, 2012): In its first cycle of activities PNAPO invested 364 million Euro. Amongst others, it helped 5,300 municipalities to invest 30 per cent or more of their school feeding budgets in organic and agroecological products purchased from family farmers
  • Denmark’s Organic Action Plan (2011-2020, updated in 2015): As a result of the Action Plan, Denmark has the highest market share of organic products in the world, with almost 80 per cent of Danes purchasing organic foodQuito’s Participatory Urban Agriculture Programme (AGRUPAR, 2002): With over 3,600 urban gardens growing on 32 hectare and over 21,000 people trained, AGRUPAR fosters food security, increases incomes, and enhances ecosystem functions
The Vision Award goes to TEEBAgriFood, an initiative of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) by UN Environment. TEEBAgriFood has developed a comprehensive evaluation framework for food systems that helps decision-makers to compare different policies and the market to value food more accurately.

The three honourable mentions of the Future Policy Award this year were to the Good Food Purchasing Policy of Los Angeles, USA (2012); to the Agriculture Development Programme of Ndiob, Senegal (2017), and to the From Arms to Farms Programme of Kauswagan, the Philippines (2011).

The winners of this year’s Future Policy Award were celebrated in a ceremony at the FAO headquarters during the World Food Week in Rome.

“By scaling up agroecology, it is possible to tackle malnutrition, social injustice, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. Through effective, holistic policymaking, we can transform our food systems, so that they respect people and planet,” said Alexandra Wandel, director, World Future Council.
“The 2018 Future Policy Award winners prove that it is feasible – and how. Policymakers across the globe should follow their example and step up similar exemplary political action,” she added.

Maria-Helena Semedo, deputy director general, FAO, stated, “A transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems is critical to achieving sustainable development, and the 2018 Future Policy Award is unique as it highlights policies that advance such a transition.”

“FAO is proud to honour, along with the World Future Council and IFOAM – Organics International, such leadership and political will,” she added.

“This year’s Future Policy Award honours exceptional policies adopted by political leaders who have decided to act, no longer accepting widespread hunger, poverty or environmental degradation. They are committed to better food and agriculture systems, and have achieved unimaginable change,” noted Louise Luttikholt, executive director, IFOAM – Organics International.

She added, “One of them is Sikkim’s Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who set an ambitious vision and achieved it. It became the first organic state in the world; 100 per cent organic is no longer a pipe dream but a reality, serving as an outstanding role model for others to follow.”
 
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